Blogging Friendships that Bless!

A while back, I asked two blogging friends, Linda of Creekside Ministries and Sheila of Longings End if I could meet them in person over a cup of coffee after a conference that my husband and I were attending in New York.

Linda wasn’t content with “just coffee” and suggested that we all have dinner together with our hubbies, as well as graciously offering to let me and my husband, Gary stay for the night before heading home.

She also suggested that we devote one of our upcoming posts to sharing about our experience with all of you. Linda’s just full of great ideas!

So here are some of my observations of our time together …

I was blown away by how meaningful and encouraging it was to meet these friends! I always thought that I had a lot in common with these ladies, but after spending an evening with both of them and their hubs {Tim and Michael}, as well as a bit more chatting in the morning with Linda, I could plainly see why I was drawn to each of them.

I so resonate with who they are and what they are about!

Oh, and before moving on, I can’t fail to mention the gluten-free chocolate cake that Sheila made for our dessert! It was divine and I’ll be sharing how you can get the recipe below!

Dinner edit

Enjoying our delicious chocolate cake and coffee! Yum!

Linda has from the first day I met her {online} been a generous soul, with encouragement to offer me always close at hand. But what struck me most about  Linda was her vulnerability, and authentic/humble sharing of her life and feelings with me. She didn’t shy away from or hide her faults or insecurities and shared openly about the struggles she has experienced along the bumpy road of life and ministry. I went away from our time together wishing I could spend more time getting to know this intricate lady and learn from her, laugh with her, and do life together.

Linda S & Me edit

Me and Linda on the deck of her wooded backyard! So lovely!

You really need to visit Linda’s blog, if you haven’t already! It’s full of her amazing wisdom on spiritual matters, marriage and relationships. I know this wisdom comes from Linda’s years of devotion to Christ and is also strengthened by her many years of counseling and ministry experience.

I knew from Sheila’s blog that she is a deeply thoughtful and philosophical person. But it was her gentleness and sweet nature that seemed to shine from the moment she hugged me at the door. Sheila, like Linda, has lived through many storms in life. And instead of this making her bitter, I can tell that she has allowed God to use this to refine her and soften her heart. She must also be very loyal and persistent because even though she had an injury to her elbow and was in pain this past week, she pushed past that to attend our gathering anyway.

Blogging Buds edit

Sheila, Linda and me – “Blogging Buddies!”

Sheila’s blog is full of spiritual, relational and marital wisdom and encouragement. She shares out of the brokenness of her own messy marriage and painful upbringing, so you will be blessed by her redemptive and authentic approach. Michael, her husband, also writes there from time to time and I’ve been impressed by his Bible knowledge and insightfulness.

Speaking of hubbies, here are my observations of them …

Michael seemed inquisitive, and asked me some questions that really challenged me to think deeply. And during our dinner he shared openly with all of us about his writing career, his messy marriage years, and many of his defining spiritual moments along the way. He seems to be an open book.

Tim, Linda’s husband, made both me and my husband, Gary feel so comfortable right off the bat! He was friendly, down to earth, and had a funny side that kept all of us laughing during our dinner and dessert together.

It was a treat to be welcomed by these kindhearted men who hold the hearts of my dear friends, Linda and Sheila.

Our Guys edit

Our guys! Michael, Tim and Gary.

If you haven’t gotten together with another blogger along the way, I would encourage you to do whatever it takes to do that! I’m always so amazed by how God can draw us together from all parts of the globe and that we can feel this instant family connection. I feel blessed to be brothers and sisters in Christ with these lovely people!

 

When have you met other bloggers and what’s that been like for you?

 

What have you learned from your blogging connections, either in person or through the blogosphere?

 

Please hop on over to these ladies blogs to read their thoughts about our time together AND to get that gluten-free chocolate cake recipe from Sheila while you’re at it! Linda’s blog – Creekside Ministries and Sheila’s blog – Longings End.

 

Next week I will be posting on Wedded Wednesday on forgiveness, picking up where I left off before my vacation. There’s so much still to share on this topic {and yes, I plan to make it into a free ebook}, but I also am brimming with new information and experiences that I had at the Emotionally Healthy Conference I attended in Queens, NY. I will be sharing some of “that” next week on Monday as well! So I hope you come on back to check it out!

Click on the link to read the last post in my forgiveness series – When a Boundary Conversation Fails.

 

Signature - Beth Blessings

 

 

 

 

 

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  • What fun this has been…the three of us sharing our unique heart’s perspective on the night. Was such a wonderful night of friendship and fellowship. Glad you liked the cake! Thank you for your kind words. And now I am off to bed. My love to you, dear Beth. Sweet dreams…

    • Yes, it truly was a unique reading at all three and yet I feel we have so much in common that binds our hearts together, Sheila. God’s creativity is fully evident in each one of us and I’m so grateful for your sweet words at your place and here as well. Consider yourself cyber-hugged and let’s do this next year as well!

      • It’s a date, Beth and Linda. Looking forward to seeing how God develops our connection — including our men — over the years ahead!

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  • Wow, Beth. I wasn’t half way through your kind words when my eyes welled up, Tim hanging over my shoulder to read all three of our blog posts. What can I say except that your visit meant more to me than words could ever tell. I can only hope that the Lord will allow our paths to cross again, somehow. I’m deeply thankful you’re in my life, even at a distance.
    And hey, all you bloggers out there! If you’ve got a blogging buddy living nearby, RUN, don’t walk, to your keyboard and set up a time to meet together. It just might be the highlight of your month.
    Hugs.

    • Really? Aww, that’s so sweet to hear, Linda! I truly think that syncroblogging about this made the event all the more special because it made me reflect on what we experienced that night. I don’t know that I would have seen all the blessings, if I hadn’t studied our time so deeply. Love ya lots!

  • Beth

    I’m coming over from Linda’s today. This is just so wonderful. I loved that husband’s were included too. I’m just smiling big over here. I simply adore Linda and would so love the opportunity to meet her. I’ve actually been to Shiela’s blog several times too. Love that you all connected. I’m so grateful for the many writing friends I’ve been able to meet in real life this past year. Blessings to you.

    • So nice to meet you, Beth! Funny how writing that last sentence out sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it?

      I’m grateful for your kind words, Beth, and I adore Linda and Sheila too. They are great, godly women with so much to give to the weary and worn-down–as well as those who are simply looking for wisdom. I’m glad you’ve gotten to meet some bloggy friends. I feel like creating some kind of list with bloggers permission to notify each other where we all live. That way, if we’re on a road trip, we can stop by and meet face to face! 🙂

  • Oh, I’m so encouraged by this post, Beth! One of the unexpected blessings of joining the blogging world three years ago has definitely been the connections I’ve made with other godly women bloggers (like you!). I have a dream to meet several of you in person one day. I’m jealous of your outing with Linda and Sheila! I hope we can meet someday, too! Hugs!

    • I hope you get to meet those bloggers you connect with too, Becky. It really is cool when virtual becomes reality! Blessings…

    • You are definitely one of the bloggers on my “bucket list” to meet, Becky. And your jealousy is what I’ve felt when I’ve seen other bloggers going to conferences together or meeting face to face. I think we all want that personal connection. It’s really a godly desire that reflects His heart to connect with us. Thanks for your sweet face showing up here each week, my friend!

  • JosephPote

    Oh, how fun! What a great group of folks! I’m glad you were all able to get together for an in-person visit.

    • I know, isn’t it, Joe?! And I know that you and I are not too far from each other in location. I don’t head down to Arkansas often, but when I do, you’ll be hearing from me! Thanks for your continual encouragement and kindness!

      • JosephPote

        I look forward to it, Beth! 🙂

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Interesting timing, as I spoke with Linda on the telephone this morning! She’s a terrific person, genuine and inspiring.

    The only blogger I’ve ever met is Jennifer Major (Tales From The Redhead). She’s really larger than life, and has a knack for making everyone feel important and loved. The sun comes out when she’s around, both online and in person.

    I’m looking forward to seeing that GF chocolate cake recipe! I’ve just recently learned to make GF pies. Hadn’t had one in years, and it tasted good! (Used a premixed crust.)

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/05/your-marriage-and-nasa-part-1.html

    • Linda is a terrific person and counselor! Her words and prayers have helped me much over the years. And Andrew you may want to check out the blog Against All Grains…GREAT recipes many of which are SCD legal.

    • Really? Well, you couldn’t be in better hands, could you, Andrew? And I will have to check out Jennifer’s blog. Sounds like she’s a true encourager. And as far as gluten-free, I’m so glad this is something you’re interested in. I am too, since I struggle with sensitivity–not necessarily intolerance. Now we can have our cake and eat it too, my friend!

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  • Elvira

    How wonderful that you actually made this happen, that you involved your husbands too and that you’ve spent the most lovely moments! It’s true, blogging can connect people and when it works out that nicely in real life too, that’s just a huge bonus!

    Elvira @ http://songsofhome.wordpress.com

    • Yes, it truly was a God-thing, Elvira. I look back on it and think that doing it any other way (especially leaving out our hubbies) just wouldn’t have been the same. God blessed us so much with that brief gathering. Thanks for weighing in, my friend!

  • Mary

    Such great friendships and to think it all started through an online community. I have been blessed by Sheila’a blog many times and it sounds like I have a new friend to get to know through Linda. I am thrilled you are rested and that God provided you with such a treasure. I am blessed to have developed and to continue to develop friendships with some bloggy friends and I look forward to meeting them in the near future. Thanks, friend and hugs to you!

    • Always good to “hear” from you, Mary. I marvel at that too…how from simply postings online I have gotten to meet some of the dearest women. 🙂

    • Oh yes, you need to get to know Linda! They are both spectacular women and I saw this most of all from their comments here and at their places. They both have been so encouraging and compassionate to me. I hope to meet you too someday, Mary! We drove through your state, but I was limited on time and wasn’t sure what part of the state you are from. Private message me sometime with this info and we’ll keep our eyes peeled for a future chance, dear friend!

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  • It is amazing how God connects and builds great friendships from the WEB. I am working on meeting an online friend soon, we missed a couple of times due to matters that came up unexpectedly. You have been an amazing friend too Beth, I know I will meet you here or in the hear after.

    • Yes, isn’t it, Ugochi?! So glad to hear that you’re meeting someone soon too. I hope it is as blessed an event for you as this was for me. And I think “you’re amazing,” sweet friend! I don’t know what part of the world you live in, but let me know sometime in a private message and I’ll put you on my “got to see” list! Hugs!

  • Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I have met two local bloggers. We have met up for lunch before and brainstormed. I have also Skyped with another blogger that I designate well with. It is amazing the inspiration and encouragement that they can be! It is so fascinating to me the relationships you can build through blogging!

    • I’ve never skyped. It’s a mystery to me. But I’m glad that you’ve made this a priority, Cassie. There’s nothing like meeting face to face and giving each other a real hug. And thank you again for hosting during my first week away. It is greatly appreciated, sweet friend!

      • You are very welcome! I enjoyed it! Glad I could help out so you could enjoy your time away 🙂

  • Kim Adams Morgan

    Sounds like you all had a wonderful time. How great that you got to meet Linda and Sheila there. I love meeting people I have a deep connection with online. I love all three of your blogs, I can see why you all get on so well.

    • Thanks, Kim. It was a wonderful time. And I enjoy your blog as well. Blessings…

    • We did, Kim! And I’m so encouraged by your sweet words about us and our blogs. You have to let me know through a private message sometime where you live too. Maybe we can make a meeting happen on a future road trip! Hugs to you!

  • How fun! I love stories of blogging “friends” meeting and becoming real-life friends! It is so cool what God can use to bring us together. We are made for connection and when we actually connect it fills a place inside us a little bit fuller! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • It truly is cool, Summer! I would’ve never imagined this kind of thing happening just 10 years ago. The internet certainly makes the world a “small place.” And yes, it really does fill a place inside us–and gives us that motivation to keep doing what we do! Thanks for your sweet words, my friend!

  • What a wonderful time you had!! Thanks so much for sharing about it. I have never met a bloggie friend but hope someday that I will.

    Thanks so much for hosting this week.

    • Yes, you need to make that happen, Judith! It is a blessing you don’t want to miss out on, my friend. Thanks for your constant encouragement to me as well. You are a sweetheart!

  • I enjoy both of these ladies’ blogs! So glad you were able to do that…should have told you to stop by my house on the way back home! Planning to sit down with you one day…I truly am. 🙂

    • Oh yes! Someday we will make that happen, Nannette! Thanks for your sweet support here at this place until that day! Love ya!

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  • Oh, this post makes me so happy! I follow all three of your blogs, so what a treat to get all 3 of you in one. Thankful you got to share time together–and with the husbands too! I have met with a couple of bloggers along the way and have loved the time together. Looking forward to doing it more.

    • We almost made this happen–you and I–didn’t we, Lisa? Maybe next time our paths crossing will be under better circumstances too. BTW, how is your FIL doing? Thanks for your friendship. It means a lot!

  • Gaye @ CalmHealthySexy

    Very happy for you, Beth, that you enjoyed such a wonderful visit with these friends! I may have a chance to meet up with two blogging friends this summer. I would love for it to happen.

    • Oh great! I hope you let us all know how that goes, Gaye. And thank you for your support and kindness to me. You are one among many that I would like to someday meet in person. So keep that thought in your head, my dear. And anytime you come to the midwest, give me a holler! 🙂

      • Gaye @ CalmHealthySexy

        I will! And you will have to let me know if you are ever coming to the Sunny Southeast!

  • Oh how I enjoyed reading this! I’ve never met a blogging friend but I hope to some day. I sure made some special friendships along the way. A little different from “over the fence” neighbors but just as meaningful in the 2014 way of life.

    • Yes, they really are different–at least in the way that we make these connections, Pamela. But I’d have to say they are still so very sweet and just as encouraging as the “over the fence” friends (sometimes more! like when our neighbors don’t cut their grass enough! ha!). Thanks for coming by and adding to the discussion, my friend!